Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Jerry Pournelle

I have noticed over the past few weeks and months that Glenn Reynolds has mentioned the science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle more often. That may have to do with the fact that Jerry has been ill, I don’t know. But I am reminded to also bring him to your attention, since I have known Jerry for almost forty years.

This is his main site. Pournelle is the author of dozens of books, essays, etc. If you haven’t read anything from him, you might want to start with something straightforward, a sort of coming-of-age story, Higher Education. It is about a high school student who is trained, then becomes a secret agent, sent back to earth to set right the corrupt school system. Or, one of his first bestsellers, The Mote in God’s Eye. It is about the Second Empire of Man, in the year 3016, and the first contact with non-humans, or Moties. It is a terrific story—many serious folks think it is the best portrayal of aliens ever written—and easy to tell that Pournelle is a well educated man who knows something about politics. Note the allusions to Thucydides throughout. Jerry comments on the death of William Buckley and notes that it was due to Buckley that he started reading Russell Kirk, as I have noted to Jerry, it was due to Buckley that I started reading Jaffa. Pournelle was a professor of political science for decades, gave up tenure over thirty years just to write and make money. He has done both.

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